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Sailust | Acapulco and Huatulco

Acapulco and Huatulco

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

We’re now approaching the part of Mexico with the difficult-to-pronounce Aztec names. It took a lot of practice to get “Zihuatenejo” to roll off my tongue. I’m presently in Marina Chahue in Huatulco.

My last night in Zihua, I got very sick. I awoke in the middle of the night and hurled howling vomits into the head. Because I had no headache, I knew that I had a case of turista, or Montezuma’s revenge, instead of a mean hangover. I knew I’d have trouble convincing the rest of the boat of this and I knew that I’d wake them with my bellows. I usually know the instant that I lay my head down if I’m going to make it through night after drinking. My head will spin and I can’t fall asleep. When this happens, I test myself by leaning towards the toilet. If the revulsion of being that close to the toilet makes me vomit, then great. Out comes the bad stuff and I immediately feel healthy. If it doesn’t, then I tough it out and drink lots of water in the morning. This time was different. This was a stomach-sickness, not a head-sickness. My stomach was trying to expell everything, in whichever direction it could. Even when it was empty, it tried to push out more–the miserable dry heaves. I went back to sleep and repeated the process in the morning. I was dead weight the next day. I slept nearly the whole day and ate almost nothing. The fear of having to expell food in an unpleasant manner killed my appetite. The next day, however, I was more or less back to normal.

Acapulco was a very brief stop. We anchored on the beach, across from all the high-rise hotels. We stocked up on food at Wal Mart again. This one was open 24 hours. I was amazed to see live Christmas trees, douglas firs, for sale for 800 pesos. It was a Saturday night and the music from all the beach clubs throbbed until 4am. Sound travels further on the water and it felt like the DJ was on deck. The next morning we got a slow start to Huatulco.

The three days to Huatulco, all I did was sleep, eat, read and steer. I finished, Log from the Sea of Cortez by Steinbeck, which I stole from Kelly’s bookshelf. Judging from a note on the inside, the book was a gift from his parents. Also written on the inside was a score from a game of hearts between Kelly, Bridget, Mike and myself. I vaguely remember the game because I recall being astonished that Kelly would deface a book willy-nilly, as if it were a piece of scratch paper. Now, I appreciate writing in books. A copy of The Education of a Wandering Man by Louis L’Amore that I picked up in Zihuatenejo was thouroughly underlined and noted, as if done by a teacher who was lecturing on the book. I think the game took place at a certain New Years in Tahoe, though I can’t say for sure. The game lasted only 5 or six rounds until I reached 100 points. Kelly won it, with about 6 points total and having shot the moon the first round.

Log from the Sea of Cortez is interesting if you like Steinbeck because it’s essentially his journal, similar to Travels with Charley. I yawned during his descriptions of tide pool crawlers, but took interest in his description of the towns, the Indians and his outlook on life. What interested me more was his biography of Ed Ricketts, in the Appendix. Ed, was the inspiration for the character Doc in Cannery Row, a life-long friend of Steinbeck’s and a crew member on the Sea of Cortez voyage.

Now I’m reading Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana. I’m excited to get to his pre-Gold Rush description of San Francisco. When I’m not in the mood for fiction, I read Chapman’s Piloting, which is a  seaman’s textbook that covers every topic of interest when aboard a ship: knots, navigation, weather, communications, customs, etc. So far, I’ve learned the phonetic alphabet and the difference between AC and DC electricity.

At 3pm today, we leave for Puerto Madero, on the border, the other border, with Guatemala. We have to cross the notorious Gulf of Tehuantepec, the narrow part of Mexico that gets winds from the Caribbean. Word around the Marina is there’s a window of good weather and Gary wants to make no haste. Puerto Madero will be a short stop, if we stop at all. The next definite stop will be in Costa Rica, unless Lynne and I can convince Gary to stop in El Salvador or Nicaragua. We’ve got crusing guides 10 years old or older that say these places are politically unstable and unkind to tourists. I’m not so sure this is true any more, but they, no doubt, get less tourism because of the rumors, which may consequently make them less safe.


  1. Paul Says:

    Just found out today. Enjoy every minute except M R. Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Owen Says:

    Happy Belated Thanksgiving Sean!

  3. lina Says:

    heh…kinda like vegas huh?

  4. ali Says:

    Weird…I just got a couple of steinbeck’s books from the library. finished the pearl yesterday. the intro talked about how he hated the fame and suspicions from the grapes of wrath and made him want to write it.

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